GNLI was established in 1994 by the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services. As a result of a needs assessment and action planning process, the Coalition identified a demand for more grassroots level community leadership training and citizen involvement in the decision-making arena. A committee, which is now known as the advisory board, looked at best practices and models from across the state. The model of the DeKalb Neighborhood Leadership Institute was adopted and incorporated the Fanning Adult Leadership Training module for the curriculum portion. Today we average 25 participants per class and have graduated over 250 diverse leaders to date. GNLI is recognized by local community leaders from both public & private sectors, businesses, faith-based communities and local and statewide officials. GNLI has also been recognized as the premier grassroots community leadership program for inspiring civic engagement and community improvement in the State of Georgia.
What Does the Program Entail?
The Institute is a dynamic training program that includes a weekend retreat, monthly comprehensive training sessions, independent homework assignments, community service projects and more. Training sessions are held monthly on one Saturday of each month. The Curriculum, from the UGA's Fanning Institute, spans topics such as Understanding Leadership, Communicating Effectively, Making Group Decisions, Building Communities Through Collaboration, and Leading Community Change. GNLI is the only program in Gwinnett to offer both the Fanning Skills training and applied community knowledge.
One of the most valuable components of the program is the inclusion of key decision makers and leaders from across Gwinnett in the workshop modules. These professionals present on topics that cover a wide range of community issues relative to Gwinnett. Over the period of eight months, students build a network of community resources and contacts, while beginning to take an active role in identifying and addressing community issues.
As a requirement of graduation, participants will be assigned to project teams to implement a community improvement project by the end of the program. The purpose of the team project is threefold:
1) To utilize resources and skills acquired
2) To deepen the sense of community among class participants through a group process
3) To provide a practical, tangible and positive benefit that will have a lasting impact in the community.
Upon graduation, participants will benefit from being part of the tremendous network of several hundred GNLI alumni. Many go on to launch powerful community initiatives, serve on local non-profit boards, or become elected officials. – less–ZoomInfo